As the Baltimore Orioles near opening day, they are gradually making the necessary cuts to their roster. The latest move includes outfielder, L.J. Hoes, who did quite well this Spring Training as he batted .320, going 8 for 25. Hoes will return to Triple-A Norfolk, where he finished last season.
Hoes made completed the impressive trifecta as a minor league baseball player. He began 2012 with Double-A Bowie where he played in 51 games until being called up to Triple-A Norfolk. On Sept. 25, Hoes was then officially called up to the Orioles and appeared in just two games at the end of the season. He accumulated just one plate appearance, but it was a great ending on a monumental season for Hoes.
If you look closer at his stats, he’s predominantly a singles hitter with very little power thus far in his minor league career. Last season between Double-A and Triple-A he racked up 147 hits in 513 at-bats. Of those 147 hits, 112 were singles.
With just 21 home runs in 1995 career minor league at-bats, Hoes is obviously not being sought after for his ability to knock the ball out of the park. In instances like last season, Hoes was utilized as a pinch runner in key situations.
While Hoes was in Triple-A Norfolk his batting average actually improved greatly compared to Double-A. In 82 games, he put together an impressive .300 average at the plate. There were only 21 players with a higher average than the speedy outfielder. Three of those 21 players include current roster and non-roster invitees Chris Dickerson, Steve Pearce, and Lew Ford.
For those of you that follow the Orioles enough, then you know that manager Buck Showalter pays great attention to the Orioles farm system and how each player is progressing. Following the announcement of Hoes departure, Showalter was quoted saying “This guy hit .300 last year. Do you know how many guys hit .300 in Triple-A last year in the International League? Look it up. Not many.”
Hoes should not be discourage with being sent back to the minors for 2013. If anything he should be anxious to perform at a high level and know that he will ultimately be rewarded.